Readings: First Reading Isaiah 8:23-9:3
Second Reading- 1 Corinthians 1:10-13,17
Gospel- Matthew 4:12-23
Scripture tells us in the first reading, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” In Psalm 27, the light is identified as “The Lord.” It has only been a few weeks since we celebrated the coming of Jesus as Lord. Now through the scriptures, we journey with Jesus as he begins his public ministry, bringing the light of Christ to the world.
Are we still a people walking in darkness? Or have we embraced the light of Christ in our lives? This is the question we must reflect upon often. There are so many circumstances in life, both personally and communally, that dim our paths, turning light into darkness. This darkness can cause us to falter, to be consumed by fear, to be reactive towards others, and to cloak ourselves in a fatalistic world view of hopelessness. So how can we regain our balance and embrace the light in which Jesus invites us to live?
Pope Francis suggests the virtue of prudence. He redefines prudence as an unsettling virtue not indecisive or defensive but rather a virtue of discernment, according to Sr. Mary McGlone, CSJ. Prudence opens us up to the newness of God’s Spirit and what God’s Spirit is doing today. This posture of discernment through prudence continually challenges our viewpoints and our comfort levels; it dares us to reject the darkness and step into the light.
This is precisely what Jesus did as he accepted his public ministry. Jesus knew the time for prophetic change was at hand. He had read the signs of the times and opened himself and those around him to experience a preview of the Kindom of God. This Kindom would bring healing to those in need, justice to those oppressed, forgiveness, and reconciliation to all creation.
All of us have a mission in life, and whatever our state in life, we all have a ministry, be that as vowed religious, married, single, or ordained. We have been called by Jesus to see the world through the eyes of the Creator and in so doing, we will bring light to the darkness and truly be the people who have seen the great light.
Sister Joan Agro, OP